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 September 22, 2008

Interplay Updates Website

Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC BB:IPLY) announced today the launch of an all-new web site at www.interplay.com.


The site, developed over the last several months, is designed to improve the company’s communication with customers, investors, and partners.  The new site includes forums based on past and future Interplay games, a customer support section, detailed information on the company and its products, and much more.


The company also announced that Chris Taylor, a game designer who was a part of the original Fallout game development team at Interplay in 1994, has rejoined the company. Taylor will serve as Lead System Designer for “Project V13,” the working title of Interplay’s next generation Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) currently in development. Taylor joins other original Fallout team members on staff at Interplay’s internal game studio, which recently opened an office in Irvine, Calif. Additional development staff members continue to be hired as the project ramps-up.

April 9, 2008

Interplay working on sequels to Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent and MDK

Interplay, the company that created Fallout and many other popular PC titles in the 80s and 90s, has announced they are no longer in danger of closing up shop. In fact, the company is expanding as they've relaunched their in-house game development studio and have begun hiring new developers.

They've also announced that they plan to return to their roots and are currently working on sequels to many of their most popular franchises including Earthworm Jim, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Descent and MDK. It's been too long since the world has seen an MDK game. No other details, including what platforms they will appear on or when they'll be released, were revealed.

Interplay is also hard at work on a Massively Multiplayer Online Game based on Fallout, currently referred to by the working title "Fallout MMOG."

Interplay's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Herve Caen said that the new Interplay.com
website will offer updates on all of these projects to any interested gamers. However, it only contains a "Coming Soon" graphic as of right now.

 November 13, 2007

Interplay restarting dev studio

As a publisher, Interplay is a shell of its former self. After a visible and embarrassing series of events in which the company was threatened with eviction, sued by BioWare for nonpayment of royalties on the Baldur's Gate series, and finally closed by authorities for not paying or insuring its employees, the publisher all but disappeared.

In 2006, the company revealed it was planning a massively multiplayer online game based on the Fallout universe; it just needed $75 million to get it done. That funding hasn't materialized yet, but the publisher explained how it will keep busy in the meantime in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

With the explanation that it is looking at ways of leveraging its stable of franchises "through sequels and various development and publishing arrangements," Interplay announced it is restarting its in-house development studio. The money to establish that studio will come from the recent sale of the Fallout franchise to Bethesda Softworks. (Interplay is now licensing the Fallout IP from Bethesda for its upcoming MMOG.) The publisher also said it has brought back Jason Anderson, a lead artist on the original Fallout game and cofounder of the defunct Troika Games, to serve as creative director for an unannounced MMOG.

Among the projects Interplay has said it wants to develop are sequels to Earthworm Jim, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Descent, and MDK, provided it can find the financing. The Earthworm Jim license was most recently held by Atari, which announced a PlayStation Portable version of the game last year with Shiny as the developer. Atari later sold Shiny to Foundation 9, and the project appears to be dead. Shiny was previously owned by Interplay until the publisher sold it to Atari in 2002.

The Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance sequel also has ties to Atari, given that the Infogrames subsidiary currently holds the rights to the Dungeons & Dragons license. Like the rest of the Baldur's Gate series, the Dark Alliance spin-off for consoles was created under the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms imprint. Interplay signed a multiyear deal for the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale licenses in 2002, but it's unclear when that arrangement was set to expire.

[UPDATE]: An Interplay representative confirmed for GameSpot that the company owns the Dark Alliance name, and can continue to make fantasy role-playing games under that banner so long as they don't use the Dungeons & Dragons license, which includes the Forgotten Realms world and the Baldur's Gate name. As for Earthworm Jim, Interplay owns the property, and Atari merely has a license to make certain handheld games based on the character.

 April 4, 2002

THQ adds Outrage Entertainment

THQ Inc. today announced that it has added gaming veterans Outrage Entertainment to its internal studio roster. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the team at Outrage Entertainment is best known for its PC gaming roots at Parallax Software, creators of Descent. The studio is currently developing an original action game for PlayStation® 2 and Xbox™ that THQ will unveil at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this May.

THQ also announced that it has opened a game development studio in Seattle, Washington which will focus on console development. The studio, Cranky Pants Games, is currently working on a Nintendo GameCube™ project scheduled for release in 2003.

“Securing top creative talent is one of the keys to fostering continued growth for THQ,” stated Jack Sorensen, executive vice president, Worldwide Studios. “We are thrilled to be executing on our strategy of bolstering our internal game development with the leading original content and technology creators at Outrage. Our internal development expertise now rivals that of every industry leader with more than 300 programmers, artists and designers spread across the globe.”

“Very few publishers have the reputation and outlook for growth that THQ does,” stated Matt Toschlog, president, Outrage Entertainment. “We’re delighted to be a part of that growth and we look forward to being able to focus on making great games.”

"THQ has consistently demonstrated a commitment to quality entertainment and growth,” stated David Bollesen, general manager, Cranky Pants Games. “Teaming up with THQ to bring first class products on the next generation game consoles is something we are really excited about."

September 8, 2000

Volition and THQ Unite!

As most of you know, on August 31, Volition was acquired by THQ. This is great for all of us here at Volition. It allows us to be more focused on product development and we know it will result in better games. While we're extremely happy to fully join forces with THQ, customers of Descent and FreeSpace have raised concerns about the future of these franchises. People who have been looking forward to Summoner and Red Faction have asked what it means for these titles.

As to Summoner and Red Faction, I see no changes. These titles remain in development with THQ. We believe they will be completed in time for their scheduled release dates. Our hope for all our projects is that they will merit sequels. I hope that's true of both Summoner and Red Faction. As to what other platforms we might support, I can't say.

Regarding Descent sequels, it's very unlikely that Volition would ever be involved in one. Interplay owns the sequel rights to Descent. It's possible Outrage will develop another Descent sequel, but I don't know what their plans are. I also don't know what Interplay's plans are for the franchise.

Regarding FreeSpace sequels, I don't know what Interplay's plans are. As with Descent, they own the sequel rights. Interplay could elect to have someone else develop a FreeSpace sequel. I can't say any more about FreeSpace at this time.

Regarding Parallax Online, THQ has acquired Parallax Online in conjunction with its acquisition of Volition. PXO will continue to support all current titles indefinitely. We expect PXO will be better as a result of the acquisition. I'm not sure what Outrage's involvement with PXO will be going forward, but they were a key part of it in the past.

As to what kind of projects we might work on in the future, we have no public announcements to make at this time. However, I don't think the kind of project we will do will change as a result of the acquisition. Prior to the acquisition we had talked to THQ and other publishers about a variety of projects, some very different than anything we had done before. We have always tried to work on things that we find interesting and haven't tried to focus on one genre. I expect this will continue. The one thing for certain is that new projects will be published by THQ.

We're extremely happy to be a part of THQ. We've gotten to know them very well over the past 20 months since we first showed them Summoner. I have every confidence that our games will be better as a result of the acquisition.

I hope to be able to make public more details in the next few weeks. For now, we're completely busy with getting Summoner and Red Faction done, just like we were before the acquisition.

Mike Kulas
President, Volition

August 31, 2000

THQ Acquires Revolutionary Game Developer Volition.

 THQ announced that it has acquired Volition, the celebrated developers of the Descent and Freespace series. Volition is currently working on a couple of highly anticipated titles - Summoner and Red Faction. These will be released on both Playstation 2 and PC. Here are the terms of the deal according to the press release:

THQ Inc. announced today that it has acquired revolutionary game developer Volition, Inc. As consideration for the transaction THQ issued approximately 890,100 shares of common stock, assumed existing Volition stock options providing for the future issuance of approximately 109,900 shares of THQ common stock, and assumed approximately $500,000 in net liabilities. The acquisition was consummated on August 31, 2000 and will be accounted for as a pooling of interests.

December 14, 1998

Descent 4 in the Works: Volition announces future plans, including a fourth Descent game.

- Volition, Inc. has revealed some of its upcoming games, including a fourth installment in the long-running Descent series.

Descent 4 is the working title for the next game in this series. While only concept art has been released at this point, Volition has put up a web page detailing the game's development.

Other projects under way at Volition include Freespace 2, a sequel to the space combat game, and Summoner, an original fantasy roleplaying game.

Volition is one half of the old Parallax Entertainment group, the developers of the original Descent shareware game.

--IGN Staff

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